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Soma 4, Harrison 3, San Francisco 3, Chris Schaeffer 2, Folsom 2, Powerpoint 2, Us 2, Tagalog 1, Daily City 1, Rincon Hill 1, Mark Solomon 1, Levy 1, Toby Levy 1, Chris Flameded 1, Tom Radulavich 1, Chester Fong 1, Data 1, Et Cetera 1, Umu 1, Tep 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 2, 2012
    10:00 - 10:30pm PDT  

to investigate. it was more -- it was just as important for folks not just to know the historical, physical fabric of south of market, but also its cull tooerv resources and be able to identify those and map those and preserve those or build those into its future. * cultural so it's hard to see this map. it's complicated because this is at least three layers of understanding the historical and cultural landscape and history of south of market. and where are location literally that reflect that, and how can that be recognized, respected and preserved over time as part of planning the future and embracing change. so, that's just kind of one way we did it. and this speaks to what i call a investigative and very fine-grained approach. we were down into the weeds of a lot of things. for example, looking at blocks of the neighborhood as clusters, and each one of them
having its own distinct characteristics. we named each cluster. we dug into the back yards and understood what made this particular cluster different from that. so, it was an extremely fine grain approach which i think is important. another -- here's another map. this is a historic resources survey. so, we started making sure we understood how the layers of data overlap with each other and how those in turn related to some of the culture resources. the other thing that was related to this kind of fine grained approach was an emphasis on fieldwork. we spent an incredible amount of time on the ground. we tried the ground truth, all the data sets that we collected which doesn't always happen because it's an incredibly labor inextensive process. and we used students, volunteers, interns literally to do that, but we spent incredible amount of time on the ground. part of that was to get good data, but also again, back to my point about understanding the existing community, we wanted to make sure the technical team got to really know the landscape that they were planning. and not just approach it at a
theoretical level. one of the things that came out of this was to figure out what will be a suitable sites for new development, of course. there is typical soft site analysis we do with planning, get data sets and come up with places that are under utilized, whatever reasons they could be developed [speaker not understood]. it's typically done remotely. we wanted to have a little bit more of a robust analysis and methodology. so, we developed this housing suitability criteria approach. this is just a couple of slides out of it, with a scoring system that, you know, calculation of the number of units that could be produced, what is the existing type of use of a site. is there historic building, what is the surrounding uses. we tried to have this whole system that looked both quantitatively and qualitatively at sites for development and what would be appropriate came out of that. one example hereof this kind of grading system, kind of high opportunity sites, some scored a little lower. did this for each of those particular clusters throughout the area.
so, it wasn't a cookie cutter approach. just an example of how we tried to do this very careful work. in the process i want to say this is -- a lot of this is student work you're looking at. we incubated a lot of student talent and interns, and they all have much better jobs than i do, by the way. they hunt me down, hey, i'm working for this consulting firm and making good money. so, this is just a series of what came out of the housing opportunity sites analysis, sort of three different layers. this is the whole western soma area with this gradation. first looking at capacity, proximity, what is adjacent to the particular sites, and looking at public realm characteristics. these all kind of overlay. so, again, that's just an idea of how we approached it. and the reason i wanted to show you this as well is my final point. we approached this using a lot of visualization tools. one of the things we found in talking to folks there are too many words in planning and too
many acronyms and too many documents and there is too much paper. but a lot of folks intuitively understand their community by looking at maps and looking at other visualization tools. so, we did a lot of that. we had a very talented person on our staff that could do js and that kind of business. the idea wasn't to throw data at people. the idea it was to help folks understand their landscape through visualization tools. in closing, i really enjoyed it. it seems a while ago now, a long ago chapter, but it it was a really fun process and i think they were some of the most creative planning work that came out of that particular plan process than anything i've been involved in. the people's plan in the mission was another opportunity to do that. and i think the plan that's done here really reflects that kind of careful thinking and that sense of ownership of the process. >> chris schaeffer from the community outreach program
helped us with the entire process of the town hall meeting. she helped us to flame the meetings and provided us with outside facilitators and note takers. i think one of the more important aspects of our process was we did not act as our own facilitators and note takers because then you have a tendency to only hear what you want to hear. so, chris flameded these outside facilitators to focus on the work of this planning process, but then they approached the community with a whole fresh set of eyes and ears and everyone that participated in the program was grateful for how successful these three town hall meetings went. so, let me introduce chris schaeffer. >> good afternoon. i typically don't do
presentations, so, excuse me for not being used to using powerpoint. most orphan we're having a dialogue with the community, so. just a little bit about myself. i've been a citizen of san francisco for the past 40 years, and currently my profession has asked me to serve as its representative with the department of labor's revisions and updating of the directory of occupational titles. so, i will represent my profession in training and organization development of that capacity. but the other thing that i have done is i'm also the in-service manager for a group called the community outreach program that's located here in the bay area. this is an example of the team of nine people from the community outreach program who just helped to facilitate a meeting to understand the future of san francisco transit and had a large community group in which we were listening to their input. the community outreach program cop has also facilitated three
town halls for japantown as well as other community input meetings. and we were invited to work with the western soma citizens planning task force at a level that i think was outstanding in terms of the work that we've done in facilitating meeting with the neighbors. so, there were three things that we were asked to do. one is that we were trying to set a goal for community input and involvement that was higher than typically -- so the community was involved in providing input as opposed to being passive participants. another thing that we did is to help the community understand a broader role. and the third thing is to have the community provide feedback to us after each one of the meetings. so, some of the things that we did was to get and give large
amounts of information from the large numbers of people that were there involved in each one of the town halls. town hall would have almost 200 people attending each one of the town halls. the second is to use some media facilitation techniques that would dwelt input. at the first town hall we had surveys, extensive surveys from people who were either representing business or people who represented the residents. we did a lot of work in small groups. that's why we had large number of facilitaters so the people could speak in smaller groups. and that we used a technique called gallery in which the task force had set up various stations. as you know they had four major subject areas. a gallery allowed people to walk around and take a look and provide input or ask questions. and post-its, a very low tech, high touch technique in which people can write down -- every voice could be heard because
everybody can write at the same time. then you can start ask questions, you know, you can do a lot with that. so, it what what i would call a high-touch low-tech environment in which people could provide input. so, one of the themes of western soma, in every meeting in every town hall was always the theme of the public is always welcome. and, so, what i'd like to do in some of these slides is to talk about the very deep meaningful commitment to community involvement. this is a simple model that talks about the levels of community. and you can see down at the bottom is that people could be basically informed. but at the very top, the role for citizen power really rests in having citizens either have control, have power such as be able to provide input to direct
the conversations and to be truly a partnership. and, so, that was the intent of the level of community input. this statement about being a citizen planner actually came from what we were trying to do in the second town hall. this is the handout from the second town hall that everybody got, and it says that one of the things that we wanted to do is to create citizens planners. a citizen planner is a resident, small business owners, community activists and public officials trained in the basics of land use and urban design, working together to create a more livable neighborhood, economic opportunities, safer streets and a healthy environment. that is quite in a digressive
new way to deal with people who come to your meeting and that is the role that we had as helping to design and facilitate those meetings. so, let me just summarize briefly those three town halls. and the very first town hall, we were asking people to provide input. businesses and residents, about what their needs were. and listened not only to what they said on paper but also what they had to say in the small meetings. and the second town hall, participants provided input about those four key issues, those four groups. and the third town hall, participants asked questions about the draft of the community plan. so that they saw the community plan and had an opportunity to both understand it and learn more about it. so, i wanted to highlight just some kia tributetion. i don't want to say any more about the plan. that's not our role, not to be content experts. our role was to be the process expert * who helped to get the
public to talk. so, the very first town hall, our objective was to listen to you about issues that are important to you. and in that process of listening, we got 105 businesses and 167 residents to somehow -- have surveys to have a discussion with us. the second is that as we filled that meeting, i want to show you the explicit ground rules. everybody at the meeting who represented the task force was told to shut up and listen, and that's one of the reasons why we were there, is to put a muffle on the tendency which is to act as the expert. okay. the next town hall, town hall number 2 was very explicit in saying we wanted the participants to learn how to be citizens planners, to suggest solutions, but also to provide
the citizens with ways to continue to provide solutions and to be an ongoing part of the process. so, we showed them a whole variety of difficult receiptctionv tools for -- different tools to be able to do that. and in that town hall and each of the town halls we conducted exit interviews. we would actually do face and face one on one exit interviews as participants left so we could hear from them what they felt about the meetings. one of the questions we asked is, do you understand your role as a citizens planner? and some of the answers were, yes, i see many opportunities to participate or very much -- after tonight i understand the importance of input. or, i was asked for input and pleased to have a forum. another question from the exit interview was, was your input heard? and we were really pleased to hear that it was excellent or people really listened.
there was an accurate summary. we had our -- either with the post-its or our recorders were writing down so people could see their very words were being heard exactly as they had said them. i got to speak when i wanted to, or the post-it notes were effective, or, we were heard. and the third question we asked the exit interview is do you know how to provide further input? yes, i do, i'll reflect on it and go to the website. glad to know about e-mailing and the names of those on the task force were, i will attend meetings. those answers reflected the very things that we were asked and telling people that they could do in terms of providing input on an ongoing basis. the third town hall, we wanted to dig deeper into the plan. by that time in 2008, the actual draft of the community plan was there and ready for people to provide their input. so, these were the topics that
were a part of the input. but i wanted to show you, our marching orders from paul lord, "there is no formal presentation of any type in the committee. we're there for dialogue and answer questions from the public about the specifics of the plan. * committee group that is the entire tone and nature, both on the part of the planner, the committee, the task force itself, so that we were guided by input from the public and the role of the community outreach program, facilitators was to make sure that that happened. so, in summary i'd like to say that really what we were trying to do is provide high touch low tech no powerpoint. we wanted to be inclusive, that everybody who was there at the meeting got a chance to be heard. that we wanted to listen rather than to speak. that there were many forms of input, whether you talked, you wrote, we even had translators
in spanish or tagalog if that was necessary. we were neutral third-party facilitators and we also helped people to operate not just in large group, but in small groups as well. we were very pleased. the community outreach program to provide this western soma citizens planning task force which by its very name we felt we were aligned with the commitment to providing input. thanks very much. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, chris. next speaker is my good friend toby levy, an architect, small business owner, levy design partners, and a southpark resident and a mom raising a teenager in south of market. so, god knows how she found time to also be vice-chair of the task force and to head our complete neighborhood fabric
committee. but today she's here to talk about the core principles that are in the plan. thank you. >> thanks, jim, commissioners. as jim mentioned, it was really a conglomerate of very different people. i was the only professional on the task force aside from paul lord. and it came with actually a lot of well-developed opinions and a lot of people had a commitment to the original south of market plan. and what was most interesting was that it actually took us almost a year to develop these planning principles, which at first i thought were (bleep), excuse me. i actually think i'm proud to say that they did guide the process and got out a lot of the preconceived notions about the plan. and i do think the plan reflects these principles.
can i have the overhead? so, basically the whole input of the plan was to build on what people liked south of market. the legislation itself was about highlighting the alleys, which people loved, as the quintessential south of market. and letting those positive qualities of people feeling they knew their neighbors, they were comfortable with their existence, and not having the more intensity greater development and control this development. not fight it, but actually try to use the zoning to enhance the positive aspects of the current neighborhood. and one of the other things we tried to do, and you'll see throughout the process, was diminish conflict. we really wanted the ability, not to put night clubs next to residents. that's a quintessential south of market conflict.
we wanted the ability to keep jobs and industrieses in south of market, but not having everybody smell the fumes and whatever. so, we wanted to have this mix of use he, but not necessarily turn the jobs into sort of the path that exists when they have mixed use development with stuff on the ground floor. so, we really wanted to have a plan that encouraged uses that would be compatible with residential uses, but also encourage the type of uses that were industrial, * and that were commercial and that could exist with big, medium and small floor plates. and again, that our neighborhood would maintain its mix of uses and not just be a mixed use project. the other thing from the start is that unlike eastern soma, we did begin with a historic survey and embraced that. we didn't begin with, as peter mentioned, surveys on the ground.
that included cultural surveys which had never been done. and although a lot of the filipino community has moved to daily city, they still think of south of market as its home and we wanted to acknowledge that. the lgbt community, a lot of which has, you know, throughout san francisco, we wanted to acknowledge that, and actually make sure that the street fair and all those other things that make south of market would still be able to exist there; that we weren't going to be a padlum of planners that was going to turn everything like something like first floor residential with something above. you'll find our plan does reflect these principles. it's very nuanced. the last thing that paul lord brought to this, and most beneficial ways, is that we weren't going to reinvent the planning code. we used the eastern neighborhood zoning where possible, and we tweaked it.
so, you'll find that when the plan gets to be really introduced and the nitty-gritty, we're able to use the umu, the umo, all the type of types of zoning character -- zoning categories that were already introduced. we did not rethink, let's say, the fees or the bmr units or anything else like that. we actually looked at what was there and if it could be adapted to reflect this fine grain community, we adopted it or we tweaked it. and, so, i think that what you'll see is this is a plan that allows for the next 20, 30 years of the growth of south of market, that reflects our planning principles and grew out of all the nuance pieces of it. thanks. >> thanks, toby. once upon a time in planning,
transportation came first. they would build a streetcar line out into the wilderness, and then the housing and the commercial would follow and it would build around that. today it seems like we engage in a community plan and we slap on transportation after the fact. tom radulavich, director of livable cities served on the task force for the first four or five years, i believe, representing transportation advocacy, working with chester fong from transportation authority and mark solomon, as i mentioned. they wrote the transportation element of the plan. it's one-fourth of the entire plan, which is based on good, smart transportation. so, let me introduce tom radulavich.
>> thank you. good afternoon, commissioners. i think i've just got one slide here. all right. well, i don't have a pointer today, but let me just launch in. one of the things that i think was most glaring was we began to look at this plan as we had all of these great intentions, these policies, these thing we wanted to protect, these things we wanted to conserve, these things we wanted to have happen and foster in the neighborhood. we really needed to look at the street grid and how it's used. and as toby mentioned, there is kind of this sort of two scales of streets in the neighborhood. there are these huge 82-foot wide arterial streets, the numbered streets, streets like folsom, harrison and so on that
kind of formed the major street grid. some of these blocks are rather large, some of the largest in the city, so 5 25 i think 800 something feet. and theme got miniature neighborhoods in them because they're affected by so-called alley ways because the traffic volumes on those big streets, a lot of the neighborhood life, pedestrian life, the place where kids play, those sorts of things happen on those alley ways. so, kind of a goal hereof could we reclaim those streets? could we rebalance the transportation system? so it wasn't looking just at the needs of through traffic, but that it also serve better neighborhood needs and supported sustainable transportation modes, better walking, cycling, and public transit. so, could we rebalance those major streets and also protect the alley ways? so, this is basically our transportation schema.
it's tied very closely to land use. as jim mentioned we didn't do what's happened in other neighborhood plans, which is do all the land use planning and try to figure out the transportation planning later. we needed these things integral and they needed to speak to each other. what you see here is these concepts for the purposes of these various streets is outlined here. so, there was kind of a street that runs this way, in yellow and green, that is 7th street to orient yourself. the other yellow and green street is folsom. there was a realization that the really the heart of downtown or downtown western soma, if you call it, is at the corner of seventh and folsom street. so, folsom is the main commercial artery for the neighborhood. and we felt like the main commercial artery, it should be transit oriented street should be a pedestrian oriented street and a possible cycling oriented street. just to its north.
slightly to the left of this on this diagram is howard street. that's another street that we felt was an important neighborhood street. so, one way to think about the streets is regional serving streets are neighborhood serving streets. so, we wanted to reclaim some of those numbered streets and howard and folsom streets as more community serving streets, stronger emphasis on public transportation, walking and cycling, wider sidewalks, amenities, lower traffic, hopefully lower traffic volumes. the other streets in this plan which i'll talk to a little bit, we call them the regional serving streets. we'd still like to enhance the streets as walking streets, support commerce on those streets, but understand that these are going to be major, major traffic arterials, at least in the near future. so, you see that's a corner of seventh and folsom. so, folsom, the importance east and west and north and south here. folsom is one important access,
7th is the other. and we worked very closely with the transit effectiveness project and the good news was muni was doing their tep planning at the same time we were planning here. so, we were able to sit down with the mta planners. one of the goals was a real strong emphasis on transit on folsom. there is a line that runs on folsom and harrison street is now, because it's one way cup let, it's not very frequent. and to get from one side of soma to the other requires three or more transfers. so, we wanted to do it in fewer. i think we had great cooperation with the tep. their plan actually reflects ours in term of the one-way streets and in territorixv of land use and so on. so, there's been that integration with folsom as a major transit artery. * through the neighborhood. and we also toward the tail end of the trips process got started, which you probably heard about. it's kind of under delivering. we hoped it would resolve, you
know. what you see here is a schematic, some ideas about how streets should function. but they're not street designs. they're not plans in the sense you can kind of give them to an engineer and say build them. so, we were hoping that process would actually really solve the problem. it hasn't yet. i don't think it will in terms of just harrison -- folsom and howard streets. we're told now i think that the central corridor project is going to look at those streets as well. because the other challenge with this planning area, of course, is folsom runs from the embarcadaro into the mission. so, you can't -- we've had various plan areas look at pieces of folsom and many have come to the commission. rincon hill. plan had ideas for transit bay plan, the idea is for folsom. we have ideas for folsom, et cetera. you don't want this to be a game of exquisite corporation. -- corps. we needed integrative planning. we don't have yet projects on
these streets, but we'll transform the streets in the ways that this plan calls for. it still is schematic. we still have a lot of work to do, i think working with city agencies to make sure that we can deliver on the promise of these plans. so, but those are the neighborhood serving streets. i should also mention 12th street has a lot of cultural activities on it. it doesn't really go anywhere, but it's a very wide street. so, you can see that outlined in green. that was a real opportunity for greening and reclaiming a lot of public space for community life. 11th street is an important street. at its lower end close to division street in terms of nighttime entertainment. but as you go north on 11th street it separates the two residential clusters on eitherver side of 11th. could we give 11th a quieter resideal